Starting next season, great college football and basketball players will be able to switch once before graduation without having to sit out for a year.
The NCAA Division I Council on Wednesday voted to change the longstanding rule that has often prevented players in high-profile sports from switching schools, two people aware of the council’s decision told The Associated Press.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity, as the two-day session was still in session and the decisions of the council would not become official until Thursday. The athlete first reported on the council’s vote.
The so-called one-time exception has been available to athletes in other NCAA sports for years, so they can switch and play immediately. Athletes in soccer, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s ice hockey and baseball did not have this available without asking the NCAA for a special waiver and demanding a hardship, which created the need for a transfer.
Graduated athletes were also allowed to switch without sitting out, but not students.
From this fall semester, all athletes will work according to the same rules: Transfers may be played immediately.
Those in fall and winter sports must notify their schools that they wish to transfer by May 1st. In spring sports, the notification date is July 1st. The notification dates start in 2022.
This year, athletes of all sports must inform their schools of their intention to switch by July 1st.
The council also voted for the current deadline for recruitment in all sports to be June 1st. Due to the pandemic, personal recruitment has been banned for more than a year.
Trainers are once again allowed to visit recruits off campus, hold camps on campus and greet aspiring athletes on official recruiting visits.
Story by Ralph D. Russo.